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Life-Saving Tips For a Smooth Downsizing

So the kids have long left the nest, and the house seems much bigger all of a sudden. On top of making you feel small, this newly empty house is much harder to keep up, now that you have to do it all by yourself without the kids' help. These are two good enough reasons to downsize, and if you've chosen to do so, we congratulate you on your new home! Here are a few things you should do when moving in, along with some recommendations and tips to ease the transition.

Before the Move

Elderly couple moving in to new home
  • You should start decluttering your current space at least 3 months before the move, if not more. This is a larger operation than you assess just by looking at your clutter. Even if your current home is tidy, not everything can move in your new home simply because it won't fit.
  • On the day of the move, your mind will be overwhelmed with things to do. Keep a small notepad and pen on you to jot it all down and free space up in your mind.
  • Schedule utility and installment appointments as close to the move as possible and transfer any bills to your new home.
  • These de-cluttering projects can easily become family or group projects that will help you declutter in a fun, stress-free way.
  • When choosing a house, there are a million things to consider. Do you want to stay in the same neighborhood? What is the cause of downsizing? Make sure you have all of these answered to help you choose a new property. Equally as important - there are some things to consider when selling your current property. Avoid these home-selling mistakes, and take these actions to increase your home's value before putting it up for sale.

Regarding Renovations

Elderly couple moving in to new home
  • We recommend trying to live in your new home for at least a year before making any big changes like breaking off walls. Experience your home's behavior through all 4 seasons to see what renovations need to be done. Finally, ask yourself these important questions before making the call to the contractor.
  • You can refinish hardwood floors or wooden furniture. For the furniture, a gentle scrub with paint thinner will do! This removes years of dust, oil, and cleaner residue while not damaging the original finish. For the floors, either call a professional or rent the equipment from the local hardware store.

Safety and Cleaning Tips

Elderly couple moving in to new home
  • On the first week of the move, it is important that you locate your home’s main water shutoff valve, the gas shutoff, and the electrical panel too.
  • Inspect the crawlspace and attic.
  • Clean refrigerator condenser coils. They're located at the bottom or back of the fridge. This will help your fridge work more efficiently, saving your extra costs on the utility bill.
  • Clean the lint screen, dryer duct, and exhaust duct. This will not only help you save on utility bills, but it will also prevent any fire safety hazards.
  • Install a detachable toilet seat. It will help you clean it more efficiently in the future.
  • Replace the furnace filter and clean the air conditioner condenser and evaporators. This can usually be done without the help of a professional. Make sure to shut off the power to the device you're cleaning before you start and that it's fully dried before you reconnect it if you used water.
  • Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detector dates and replace them as needed.
  • If you have a water pump in your basement, inspect it to make sure that it's in good working order.
  • If you feel like you need to, you can change the locks and install door and window alarms.

H/T: Reader's Digest

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